My life with drugs

Ana-Diamond AA asks whether drug use is a form of self-experimentation or self-destruction.

 

During the recent years the motion of legalising marijuana has been under an enormous limelight, and the Pew Research Center has confirmed that more than half of Americans support legalising marijuana, believing that “drug use is a victimless crime”. Robert Blendon, a professor of health policy and political analysis at Harvard University, researched on the public’s opinion about drugs in the mid-1990s, and the results were quite interesting: American public believed that though the war on drugs is unnecessary, the use of drugs in itself is morally wrong and worthy of punishment.

Let us remind ourselves of what William E. Gladstone once said: “Nothing that is morally wrong can be politically right”, and so it is: I, as an eighteen year old Film student, who is often surrounded by people who prefer taking drugs, would argue that legalising drugs, despite them being morally wrong, cannot be, in any sense, a politically correct move. Of course there are different types of drugs, from severe psychedelic drugs to mild ones, but one should not use something that is not necessarily needed. Food is consumed because otherwise you would starve, you drink because you are dehydrated, you buy clothes accordingly to your circumstances, you read books to be educated – where and why would one need drugs?

What has caused me to stand so rigidly against drugs? Have I had bad experiences with them? Have I had family troubles caused by drugs? For all those questions, the answer is no, none of that. But for me, too, it was peer pressure, and out of the eighteen summers that I have lived, the pressure was on-going for more than ten of them – only a different kind. And now, a new summer is approaching and I am attempting to engage you by giving an insight to my own experiences.

 

“HOW CAN YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN IF YOU HAVE NEVER TRIED DRUGS?”

“Your poems are too ideologically determined, too persuading, too religiously chained. You need to re-examine your writing and your faith, and, most of all, yourself,” Xaviar said, adding by way of explanation, “how can you even know what you believe in if you have never tried drugs?”

It was a chilly Friday afternoon in Strand, London, just minutes after he had read my poems, which were about my internal connection with God. We were standing outside McDonald’s, waiting for the rest of our friends to join us. “You need to open your eyes; you talk about God, you talk about Jesus, you talk about love. Ana, listen, love is the biggest lie to ever exist,” he tried to convince with a piercing look in his eyes. Sharp businessmen kept bumping into my navy blue back bag from behind as they tried to pass, but I was not able to turn my flushed face away from his, let alone move aside from blocking the pavement. I guess you could say I was astonished by the way he rejected God and denied the existence of love, or perhaps by the way he tried to persuade me into drugs, calling it “self-experimentation”. Xaviar, however, was not the first person to try to persuade me.

 

SWEET SIXTEEN AND ALREADY ON THE ROAD OF BECOMING WHAT WE SAID WE WOULD NEVER BE

At the age of seven, I started my first term at an elite private school, finding it all fancy and exciting, when one of the kids of the same age tried to force me to smoke. He grabbed my hand and pulled me off from the school yard. I said it would not be right if I agreed to smoke, but he told me how good the smoke feels and all that nonsense talk, which I found intimidating. I then ran away as fast as my feet could. At the age of thirteen, I was invited to a house party. I had no clue how these under age youngsters had managed to get so much alcohol in one room, but I soon realised that I was the only sober adolescent around, and that I had to be the one to take care of this poor girl who had ended up vomiting blood on the balcony. By the age of sixteen, smoking and drinking had become the norm, and it was the time for drugs to arrive on to the scene. Inhalant abuse was not an unusual sight, from paint thinner to nail polish remover, glue and gasoline, and even cough medicine was welcomed. The sight of middle-class kids living the never ending circle of one-night stands, midnight confessions, and the next-morning regrets, ambulance sirens and preaching parents – we were the best of worst generations of degenerated young souls, sweet sixteen and already on the road of becoming what we said we would never be.

Having lived in various different countries throughout my most vulnerable years, I knew how to get along with people from different social classes and different backgrounds, but I was a little excited to meet the teenagers of London when first moving to England, as I did not know how people would react to my complete abstinence from alcohol, cigarettes and drugs.

Luckily I was accepted as I was, with no particularly pressure to take anything. Out of all the nights out with my peers, I can clearly remember one occasion that took place in a house party in Holborn. It was New Year’s Eve and I had spent the last four hours cuddling on the chilly terrace with a young and handsome History student that I had met earlier. He had impressed me with his decision to spend the night sober from alcohol, and I think it was safe to say that we were very much attracted to each other under that deep sky. He was wrapping his hand around my hair, and talking about his love for studying about Whig government, but how his lecturer was an absolute prick for not giving any justice to the subject matter. On that moment, his friend walked into the terrace and said, “Sorry to interrupt, but Pete, do you want a line?” Pete nodded and asked him for a minute. I suddenly had a feeling of emptiness and I guess I felt betrayed, and I left before he had the chance to even say anything. It felt like the concept of ‘having fun’ had come to the point where you either had to get drunk or take drugs. What, to feel better? “To have fun”, as they say? I guess the seventeen year old me was massively turned off by the idea of a gorgeous man ‘wanting a line’.

After a couple of hours he found me dancing in the living room all by myself to the beat of Robyn. He shouted over the music, apologising for not telling me earlier of the fact that he indeed did take drugs. “First time it’s for free, second time it’s for fun, third time it’s for friends, fourth, fifth, sixth, and so on – it’s all a pain in the ass,” he admitted with a sigh of frustration and sat down on the sofa, “I didn’t do it this time, I saw your face, but I do long for it.”

A couple of months later I found myself in one of North London’s house raves. Never had my Christian Dior J’Adore fragrance ever smelled so cheap after merging with the smoke of cigarettes and marijuana that the living room was boosting of. The speakers blasted Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now, and bare thighs and exposed chests filled my vision, as I saw a couple of dolled up girls sitting on the couch and making out with much older guys. I danced for a while but then caught myself running away from the skunk odour of the living room, which had caused me a major headache. I climbed my way upstairs just to find my friend sobbing in the bathroom. She crawled into my arms, weeping about how the walls were coming towards her. I thought she was on acid, but trying to form a sentence from stuttering, she told me that she had only taken MDMA. I asked whether I could do something to stop her from grinding her teeth. She then took my index finger and pushed it into her mouth, softly chewing it. All I could think of, was why would somebody take “love drug” ecstasy, if they knew that coming down would be such a rough landing? I remember from earlier in the evening that she had told me that everybody takes ecstasy when they go clubbing, and so it appears to be that ecstasy, in other words MDMA, has blurred the line between soft and hard drugs, making it socially acceptable in our contemporary lower/middle-class youth to get high with it during the weekends.

Similar views dominated at the nightclub Fabric where we went after my eighteenth birthday party. I had finally decided that it was a good moment to cease the ‘non-drinker’ tradition by drinking some red wine before kicking my night to a start. With a slightly tipsy mind, I saw the affectionate jaw clenching girls and boys in Fabric’s smoking area; these souls seemed to be longing for something that they had perhaps lost long time ago – that is, control.

“I don’t use MDMA only for clubbing,” a topless guy with sunglasses told me. “It controls my moods, in a good way, I think. I like it that way.”

 

MY NEW FRIENDS FOUND THEIR HAPPINESS CAPTURED WITHIN THE LAYERS OF PSYCHEDELIC DRUGS

Just days after I had turned eighteen, I received an unconditional offer from one of the most elite universities in the country. My A-level lecturer knew that I would go off to study a Film degree, and so he warned me, “Ana, just be careful. The field you have chosen is full of people who, let’s say, like experimenting. There is a large glorification around drugs and the chicness of using heroin, or whatever else there is, but the feeling can only last for so long. Keep it clean.” And my lecturer was right. God was there with me to witness how some of my new friends found their happiness captured within the layers of psychedelic drugs. Whether it was Wednesday evening’s binge drinking, Friday night’s ecstasy, ketamine, or cocaine, Saturday afternoon and Sunday late morning’s marijuana – every day of the week was all right, if you could only afford it. Sixty quid for a gram of cocaine would not be a super saver’s first choice, would it?

Our first year of university was coming to its end, and our class had decided to celebrate this in a wild manner. Xaviar was looking forward to having me there, as it had only been couple of weeks since our dissenting conversation about drugs that took place outside McDonald’s. “We are going to spike you up, Ana! Spike, spike, spike you up!”, he had said.

It was a late Thursday evening and I had crossed my way over the Embankment Bridge towards South London where my university friends resided. After I had signed in at the reception, I met a really lovely guy, James, at my friend Christina’s flat. He had isolated his room from rest of the world by shutting down the blue curtains, and had dimmed the lights by wrapping his shirt around the light bulbs. The room was overwhelmingly yellow, mainly because of the walls, but you could see that he had tried to hide the yellowness by putting up some of his own art class sketches on the walls. At the corner of his room he had written with large capitals “SUNDAY I WILL FIX EVERYTHING,” but I got no clear explanation for what it actually meant. Christina tried to expound, “He promised himself to fix everything by Sunday, but yeah, he didn’t. So he will try to fix everything by the next Sunday.” James’ awkward laughter broke the silence that had followed, “At least I will remember to fix everything – now that I’ve written it on my wall with a black permanent marker. It will cost me a lot, though. You know, when I leave this place.”

James put on Beyonce’s Crazy In Love and we all started dancing, stomping our feet to the tempo of the song. Meanwhile he poured me a glass of red wine, and opened a little violet box, taking out a bag of MDMA for himself. He inserted his finger in it and then applied the white powder to the back of his throat. Christina did the same. Right after that, we received a phone call to come downstairs, as our other friends were preparing to go to the nightclub called Lightbox, where we had planned to spend one of our friend’s birthdays. I walked down to the courtyard, as George came to greet me. I had never met him before, but he said that many people knew of me, and were excited to finally meet me. “Your fascinating reputation precedes you,” he stated with a friendly smile, which made me laugh. I suppose my “fascinating reputation” had something to do with my views and writing. Xaviar noticed my arrival and gave me a tight squeeze and pulled me under the shelter, where the other youngsters were smoking. “Saajid is really looking forward to meeting you,” he said with a warm breath coming out of his mouth into the cold night. I had heard that Saajid was the drug dealer of the campus, and I pretty much knew what to expect of him, but I certainly was not looking forward to meeting him. I frowned and gulped down my wine.

Within an hour we had all gathered in the common room, sitting on beanbags and waiting for our cabs to come and pick us up. The birthday girl, Catherine, was making out with a really good-looking guy, Jean, who, however, seemed to be really out of this world. From the corner of my eye I saw Mary pour some white powder into her drink bottle, until Savannah blocked my sight by jumping in front of her to the other beanbag, offering me some of her Blue Lagoon spirit, swearing that she had not put any drugs in it. Suddenly Susan, a Californian girl from my class, came and lay down next to me. She put her head on my chest, “Have you taken anything?” She asked and kept gazing at my eyes.

“No, just drinking wine. Have you?”

She pulled herself back to a sitting position with an undefined smile on her face, “Yeah, you know, I thought it’s almost the end of our academic year, and a girl is allowed to have some fun. I bought some, umm,” she kept hesitating, “some – some, cocaine. I bought a gram of it, should keep me going for the night.”  I laughed gently at her tender voice, but it saddened me to think that behind that beautiful freckled face of hers, there could be a world of irritated brain cell, or God knows what else. She was my friend and I of course was worried, but what could have I done?

 

THE DRUGGED BOY WAS NOW CLUTCHING HIS STOMACH ON THE GROUND, BLINKING BLOOD OUT OF HIS EYES

It would be an outrageous understatement to say that the queue outside Lightbox was ‘long’. It was ponderous. Masses of young people squeezed onto each other, waiting to move forward, even slightly. I was squashed against a sand-filled dump box when suddenly I saw a group of security guards throwing a drugged boy away onto the street, and then kicking him in the gut, and then in the throat. Everything happened in the speed of a camera flash, as people kept running back and forth; some getting involved, some leaving, and some trying to swing the queue forward. A drunken girl behind me crumpled to the ground and people kept stepping on her knee, resulting in an agonising scream. People on the other side of the road had taken their phones and cameras out and started filming the fight, which now involved a larger group of young people, including Xaviar and Mary. I noticed the drugged boy was now clutching his stomach on the ground, blinking blood out of his eyes, and somehow seeing that urged me to pull Xaviar away from the fight. We all grabbed on to each other and managed to leave the fight scene swiftly, without leaving any of us behind. My last sight of the fight was the friend of the blood-covered boy, who was sitting next to his motionless body, blinded by her tears.

We got a couple of blocks away from Lightbox, and now there were fifteen of us, and we were baffled about where to go as our plans of entering Lightbox were now withdrawn. Catherine and Jean were kissing passionately couple of feet away from me, but suddenly Catherine started shouting for help. Xaviar and George ran to help her out, noticing Jean’s unconscious body. They carried him to the wall, and put his body into a rest position. Xaviar started slapping his cheeks and Mary measuring his heartbeat from his throat.

“He is all right, he is all right,” Henry, a guy whom I had not seen earlier from the night tried to calm the concerned friends.

“What did he take?” Xaviar asked softly, and his gaze scanned everyone’s face, waiting for a response. Getting no response, he repeated in a more serious tone, “What did he take?!”

Catherine knitted her eyebrows, “Umm, he took MDMA with me.” An older guy stepped forward from back of the group, “He took ketamine with me,” but he then laughed. “It’s okay, man, it’s J. You know how he is. He will be all right.”

“How much did he take of it?” Xaviar asked.

“It’s always like this, he shouldn’t have done this,” Catherine said and sulked out of the group. “It’s depressing.”

“It doesn’t matter at this point any more, it’s done.”

“He took couple of pills of MDMA, and then a bag ketamine, I think,” Henry clarified.

Xaviar took a look at me, “It’s not always like this – this is just him. For you it will be different. I’ll take care of you,” he tried to convince me. I smiled, unconvinced.

We went back to the residence halls and decided to stay in the kitchen. The whole flat was filled with the odour of marijuana, and it would not be an exaggeration to claim that the smoke of it alone had actually blurred our vision. There were twelve of us left, since Savannah and Catherine had taken Jean to hospital with an ambulance, and we were all having a casual conversation despite the fact that everyone around the table was high on something, probably not even realising how much their behaviour had changed. If it were for an outsider to judge, no one would ever guess that these youngsters had just taken a couple of lines of illegal substitutes, and that one of their friend had earlier on overdosed on the mixture of ketamine, MDMA and possibly cocaine, and was now being hospitalised at A&E.

“Come on, Ana, put on a show. Come on, come on, you know you want it,” Xaviar invited me with a sleazy voice, giving me an unblinking gaze with a flirty smirk. I went next to him, held his head on my chest, “I love you, Xaviar, but I can’t.” He turned around and grabbed my hands close to his face. His mesmerising blue eyes had drowned under his dark enlarged pupils, “Come on, Ana. You have so much to choose from, Saajid can bring you more if you like,” he then pointed at Saajid who was standing opposite us. I kept kissing his forehead, and I slipped my fingers through his soft hair.

“I am sorry to let you down, but you know I am not into it.”

Saajid came to stand next to me and blurted frustratingly, “I don’t understand what you have so much against it. It’s just a bloody drug; you take it, you enjoy it, and it’s over before you know it. You don’t even have to pay for it tonight, it is a form of experimentation, be open-minded a little.”

I found his words funny, about being open-minded and all that. It seemed rather ironic that he was the one to preach me about open- mindlessness – if he was open-minded enough, he would have accepted my approach to life, no?

“Ana does not need drugs, she is drugs. Believe me, I reach her level of weirdness when I take drugs, she is lucky that she is naturally like that.” Xaviar laughed at what Christina had just said. Her joke made me smile; I have come this far living and laughing at the same things as those who have not been sober, and I preferred it this way, why should I change?

Xaviar stroked my right hand next to his lips, and kissed my fingers gently.

I took hold of the spare space in the kitchen, and danced eyes closed to the beat of Alt-J’s Breezeblocks. My hips swaying from side to side like a lonely branch in a cold wind, I heard loud footsteps entering the kitchen. I opened my darkened eyelids a little too late to find Susan, Christina and Savannah, who had just arrived from hospital, using their student cards to rock the cocaine chunks into fine powder, and then cut separate lines for each other. They finished by licking the edge of the plastic card, and Xaviar licked the table to ensure that nothing was left. They used ten-pound notes to inhale the drug; Savannah took her sweet time to do it, whilst others snorted moderately hard, ending up with a large burst of euphoric sighs. The delicate white lines had now disappeared from the surface of the table into the nostrils of the eighteen year old students. Susan tapped her forehead couple of times, until I asked what was she doing. “It’s behind my eyes, I’m trying to get it down to my throat,” she laughed energetically.

When London town was busy sleeping the night away, in the kitchen of this university hall you could hear a young man’s alluring voice, shouting from the top of his tender lungs: “Drugs are love, drugs are love, drugs are love, and I want to marry all of you!” Xaviar, almost resembling John Lennon now, was wearing brown round eyeglasses, which emphasized his defined jawline and cast shadows on his sharp nose. He looked sweeter than ever before, and it made me wonder. You hear successful people and celebrities admitting how many drugs they used when they were younger, some at the climax of their career, some at the end of it; there is an on-going glorification of drugs attached to the image of creative industries, and the phrase “sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll” seems to be often taken literally. I certainly was not denying that hallucinogenic drugs could enhance one’s creativity and the sense of ‘rock and rolla’, but I did not see it as a way of living life, becoming the next Shakespeare or Edison.

“Isn’t it great that you can just buy the feeling of happiness?” I heard Saajid state in the background.

But it is not about happiness, it is about mere curiosity. Jim Morrison famously said: “I was curious to see what would happen. That’s all it was: curiosity.” Like the serpent that tempted Eve to eat fruit from the forbidden tree, human nature has the excitement – the urge – to try things that are forbidden, dangerous and illegal, all because of curiosity. There is absolutely nothing more to it than that.

 

THE TRUE AUTHENTIC SELF-EXPERIMENTATION COMES FROM WITHIN

I imagine readers of this article could come up with questions like, why did I hang out with people that I did not feel comfortable with, and did I have all these thoughts when I was present with them at the time. The answer for the latter one is: no, I did not feel uncomfortable when I was surrounded by them, only intimidated – and that was because I had already said that I do not take drugs, and yet I was more and more aggressively pushed into it. As for the former question, due to my childhood and the number of times I had travelled to other countries and changed my living locations, I had met and got used to people who did not agree with me on certain things. But that does not prevent me from enjoying their company, loving them as friends and having fun. The experiences that I wrote about were genuinely only one slight grasp of dozens of other times that I dealt with similar drug-related situations. Because I understand how one could land on taking drugs, I feel sympathy and I rather not judge, however, looking at these moments in retrospect, I wanted to be critical. I wanted to show how youth these days come across so many situations like these, and it is really no wonder that the war on drugs is still a very current headline in the news. What really worries me is the fact that the authorities are losing touch with the newer generations, and though being a ‘rebel’ has always been in some way associated with ‘being cool’, now certain individuals or even larger subcultures make it very personal; it’s not about being ‘cool’ or ‘brave’ any more, it is about how open-minded you are. And, as we know, open-mindedness is what we all strive for.

Mike McGinn, the Mayor of Seattle, had said that legalisation of marijuana would allow businesses to fight for market share and that the drug dealing individuals and gangs would be history. Surely it would be much better to buy drugs from your local store, without interferences or the feeling of anxiety and distress, but legalising such drastic substitutes would mean that anyone could ultimately have access to them, at any age. And, of course, everything under the control of government would be much better, including drugs, but certainly it is clear that those who make a living from selling drugs would not go for a legal job right away, and that they would find another path for earning profit from the skill of making drugs or dealing drugs, illegally.

I am now eighteen years old, never been high and never consciously injected anything that could possibly harm myself, yet I feel like I have seen enough to know that using drugs is nothing but a way of self-destruction. Throughout all these roller coaster years, whether with elite, middle, or lower class friends, I have grown to realise that drugs have gained me friends, made me love my friends, made me lose my friends, but most significantly, made me examine the strength of my self-control. Confirming to the high peer pressure would not have been the right way of ‘self-experimenting’ – clearly a word that many drug users seemed to be keen on using. The true authentic self-experimentation comes from within, to be competent enough to listen to your inner voice and not to those who encourage or pressure you to seductions and fascinations; self-experimentation is to love those who respect you and are good to you, but also to effortlessly confront, reject, and keep strong on those temptations, through which others have failed to endure.

 

This article has been proofread but not edited at the request of the author. All names have been changed by the author in order to protect anonymity.

21 Comments

  1. Georgia

    17 August, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Silly article that avoids the real issues. “The prohibition of drugs is the worst solution for preventing abuse. Firstly, it brings about a black market that is corrupt and costs human lives. Secondly, it constrains people who wouldn’t abuse drugs. Thirdly, prohibiting drugs is expensive.”

    it’s these conservative attitudes that are causing the hugely failing war on drugs to be pursued on principle. the talbian and cartels profit greatly from westerner’s drug use and the vast majority of crimes are drug related. Please educate yourself a little on what drugs legalisation would actually achieve, and why the war on drugs is failing.

    http://www.vice.com/read/3500-cops-who-want-all-drugs-to-be-legal

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/all-drugs-should-be-legalised-to-beat-dealers-says-former-minister-2161635.html

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/harvard-economist-jeffrey-miron-on-why-drugs-should-be-legalized-a-886289.html

    • Hamid Satur

      19 August, 2013 at 11:33 am

      A link to a vice article. nice.

      • Calvin

        19 August, 2013 at 1:12 pm

        which invalidates the independent and spiegel articles merely by proximity? she offered a variety of sources, calm down

  2. Suzanna Taylor

    17 August, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Why is it that you complain that your friends judge your choice not to take drugs, yet you consider their choice to take drugs to be weak and self destructive? For many people this just isn’t the case. There are proven health benefits of canabis, and studies, such as the ecstasy trial shown on channel four, have shown that MDMA has no negative long term affects and that the short term affects can be very positive. Clearly there are exceptions, but most of the people you saw in Fabric and elsewhere were probably simply having a good time, choosing to take drugs to enhance their experience of the evening, and not weak or self destructive at all.

    • Hamid Satur

      19 August, 2013 at 11:33 am

      the short term effects can be VERY positive.

  3. JEAN

    17 August, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    My eyes only started bleeding after reading this.

  4. Barney

    17 August, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    “One should not use something that is not necessarily needed”. What? I should have stopped reading after this; it’s the most ridiculous sentence I’ve ever read. You like gulping wine, that’s not necessary. You do it because it’s fun, much like the drug users you’ve written about. They enjoy it. Now if you’re open-minded surely you should accept that, much like people should accept that you have no interest in drugs…

    “After a couple of hours he found me dancing in the living room all by myself to the beat of Robyn”. Yep, that sounds about right.

    • The Voice of Reason?

      10 October, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      Agreed. Surely all fun isn’t strictly “necessary”

  5. Sidd

    17 August, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    you had me at ‘elite private school/elite class friends’. This article is both disgustingly self righteous, contradictory and your argument is flawed down to the ground. Aside from – “One should not use something that is not necessarily needed”, or your comments about being open minded when you are clearly not, this one stood out to me.

    “but legalising such drastic substitutes would mean that anyone could ultimately have access to them, at any age/ but certainly it is clear that those who make a living from selling drugs would not go for a legal job right away, and that they would find another path for earning profit from the skill of making drugs or dealing drugs, illegally.”

    … do you realise how ignorant you sound – that is not necessarily true at all – if you look at the countries where drugs have been decriminalised that is not the case whatsoever and if you actually looked at the facts except relying on your anecdotes from “elite, middle or lower class friends” your argument falls to pieces. I hope your “inner voice” one day stops you from posting such ridiculousness

  6. Eric

    17 August, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    I do find it rather telling that most in the comment thread are highly dismissive of this article, much in the same way that the protagonists of this article attempt to coerce the author into consuming drugs. While the article it certainly has its weaknesses, it sets forth a very important point: drug consumption bears the inherent and very real risk of gradually progressing to ever stronger drugs over time, either by maximising the experience gained from an inebriation or due to the fact that one enters circles in which one may have easier access to them (showing very pertinently that legalisation is unlikely to change habits). Once one has enters this vicious downward spirale, it obviously becomes more difficult to justify a permanent drug consumption habit, while being continuously confronted by the media and health services with information with regards to the very real ramnifications of drug consumption, hence why one tends to dismiss articles such as these in an act of self-defense and -justification by quoting obscure medical studies for instance, which stand against medical consensus (as is the case for the MDMA study quoted by Georgia, which in fact even stressed severe adverse effects MDMA can have in the long-term, particularly psychologically). This is very natural reaction tends to be more one of self-denial, a reflex very common among regular users (not only necessarily addicts). The constant evocation of medical benefits of marijuana for instance is an equally weak one: there are many medications which obviously are of real benefit to ill people. Yet they too, particularly if we are speaking of prescription drugs, can have severe effects on one’s health if consumed indiscriminately. Not every drug user is an addict and not every one consuming drugs necessarily does so incontrollably, but it is a very valid point to make. For that alone, and the debate stirred, the author ought to be congratulated.

    • Suzanna Taylor

      18 August, 2013 at 12:23 am

      Haha! I have taken MDMA maybe 5 times over the past two years, and smoke weed very occasionally. My comment is not ‘self-denial’ in any way. I simply disagrees with the author, as she seems very narrow minded and it that what somewhat hypocritical.

    • Sidd

      18 August, 2013 at 3:38 am

      the problem with this article is that if analysed from a purely critical perspective it is highly flawed containing a myriad of fallacies and contradictions. Legalisation, like i mentioned, HAS changed habits when you actually look at instances where it has been decriminalised.

      Personally I think you’re overstating her point that using drugs can lead to using stronger drugs – like you say, not every one consuming drugs necessarily will do so, just like not everyone who drinks will move onto becoming alcoholics. What’s to say that university students who use drugs recreationally but very little can keep it that way? This is just as likely a possibility, i’m not going to be ignorant and say it doesn’t happen but surely it’s not exactly enough to congratulate the writer for stating an obvious point which in truth might bear little validity.

      There is pretty much no debate being stirred, merely individuals striking down this largely problematic article, not because they are in ‘self-denial’ as you suggest, merely because this article is weak. Drug use obviously has a negative side but this article illustrates the point poorly, using anecdotes, ignoring facts and making claims without a sound basis.

  7. James

    18 August, 2013 at 3:49 am

    Oh ana you’re a wonderful oddball but you can’t put words in people’s mouths they didn’t say, even if you change the names! Plus some people take drugs some people don’t, does it really matter?

  8. disqus_cEsuuJEYni

    18 August, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    A very poor article with no coherent argument. You seem very confused about the topic. If you don’t feel the need to take drugs, find friends who respect that decision, but don’t try to explain why other people take drugs. The notion that people only eat (or do other things) when necessary is absolutely absurd.

  9. John

    18 August, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    I highly doubt that any of this ever happened. Go read Ana-Diamond’s blog: I know plenty of people who take drugs who are more mentally stable than her.

  10. Jazmine

    18 August, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    This is so poorly articulated. You prioritise sounding dramatic and self-important over delivering a clear argument and the whole thing is totally fallacious. You shouldn’t be “congratulated” for stirring debate, here; people are just irritated by your narcissism. I can’t believe crap like this can get published

  11. Claire

    18 August, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    “legalising drugs, despite them being morally wrong, cannot be, in any sense, a politically correct move.” making alcohol illegal would be a rather unpopular political move, but following your argument to it’s conclusion it seems to me that you should agree with this also; as alcohol is a drug, (and has been shown to be more harmful than, i.e. marijuana) would you be so keen on having it made illegal? What about the effect of the loss of tax revenue on our government budget if it were to happen? And, conversely, the gain in taxable revenue if controlled substances were legalised and regulated in a similar way.

    “legalising such drastic substitutes would mean that anyone could ultimately have access to them, at any age” – because all the drug dealers I know ask for proof of age. When I was 15-17 it was much much easier to get most drugs than it was to mess about with older siblings, fake IDs or strange men standing outside off-licences, to get a bottle of vodka

    “those who make a living from selling drugs would not go for a legal job right away, and that they would find another path for earning profit from the skill of making drugs or dealing drugs, illegally.”. This right here makes me sick. You cannot generalise an entire group of people this way. Some drug dealers do terrible things, and are interested in the criminal side, yes, but I think you would find that many more would be eager to share their skills and open a legitimate business to support themselves and their families – rather than waiting on an unreliable money stream, avoiding getting caught, and having to work insanely unsociable hours. Yes, legalisation is going to screw over the “big bosses” and people involved in large scale deals, smuggling etc., but surely this is a good thing? There are only so many illegal revenue streams that such people can exploit, and reducing one of them can only serve to weaken the power they have.

    I commend your stance that taking drugs is the wrong choice for you personally, but I feel your arguments against drugs in general are weak and poorly researched. Whether or not taking drugs is morally wrong should be a moot point, it is a personal decision; this moral issue surrounding drugs should be how can we prevent people who use them from coming to any more harm than is necessary. As David Nutt famously said – MDMA is safer than horse riding; this only works if your ecstasy isn’t cut with whatever similar coloured powder your dealer (or his dealer, or higher up even) has put in it so he can make another few pounds.

    You, me, or anyone else saying drugs are wrong is not going to stop some people taking them. Making them illegal doesn’t stop people taking them, and turns people with addictions and illnesses into criminals. Please realise that just talking about legalising drugs doesn’t mean you have to take them, in the same way you don’t have to drink alcohol; I’d rather have my vodka from Smirnoff than a bootleg factory on the outskirts of Peterborough (where it’s contaminated by methanol, and that’s very bad), in the same way I’d rather snort medical grade cocaine than the shit on the streets. It’s a matter of public safety, not moral opinion.

  12. Hamid Satur

    19 August, 2013 at 11:31 am

    I agree with Ana, drugs ARE dangerous! my friend once did 3 marijuana’s and she got AIDS. Be careful people.

  13. Mike

    19 August, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Who signed off on this piece?!?

  14. Pingback: Drugs at university: a defence - Roar!

  15. The Voice of Reason?

    10 October, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Regardless of what you think about drugs, this is the biggest pile of self-involved nonsense I have ever read

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